Driving Distractions | Cell Phone Use While Driving | Driver Safety


Texting 'n' Talking while driving

Help! There's a Phone Stuck to My Ear!

Believe it or not, people used to drive for miles without talking to anyone. No kidding! While cell phones are a great convenience and safety device, talking or texting while driving is dangerous. And if you're honest, you will admit that you can't fully focus your attention on driving when you're on the phone. Remember that you are responsible for 2-1/2 tons of steel and moving parts when you drive. They quickly transform into a deadly weapon if you're not careful.
driving talking texting
What makes talking or texting on a cell phone more dangerous than visiting with another person in the car? Think about it. Another person in the car is another set of eyes on the road. If there is a potentially risky driving situation before you, the passenger will naturally stop talking or warn you of the oncoming event. That doesn't happen on the cell phone. The person on the other line can't appreciate your driving situation.

Here is some research on driving and cell phone use:

  • A driver's field of vision, reaction time, and ability to visualize potential hazards decreases when talking or texting on a cell phone while driving.
  • In a study released in 2008 by Carnegie Mellon University, researcher Marcel Just stated that listening to a cell phone while driving can reduce by 37 % the amount of brain activity associated with driving. This can cause drivers to weave out of their lane, based on the performance of subjects using a driving simulator.
  • In December 2008, the University of Utah reaffirmed in their study that hands-free phones are as distracting as handheld models.

A study by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company showed that 73% of drivers admit to talking on their cell phone while driving. Liberty Mutual Research Institute and Students Against Destructive Decisions reported that teens said texting was their greatest distraction while driving.

The lesson of this story is simple: When you drive, you must focus on driving. That is your job at the moment, not talking to your friends or parents. If your cell phone rings and you need to answer it, pull over in a safe location and return the call. No phone call is so important that you risk your life or the lives of others to answer it. You may even surprise yourself and enjoy the quiet time.

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